tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg January 27, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
♪ >> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin with politics. nine presidential candidates have six days to go until the iowa caucuses. a new fox news survey shows hillary clinton ahead of bernie sanders by six points among iowa democrats. donald trump maintains a commanding lead over ted cruz and the rest of the gop field.
joining me is glenn thrush, chief political correspondent for politico. i am pleased to have him back. welcome. glenn: great to be here. charlie: let's talk about the republicans in iowa. what does it look like at this moment? glenn: this looks like a two-man race, donald trump, who is really within the margin of error with ted cruz. trump really seems to be working for it this time. my former colleague, maggie, who you know well, at the new york times, wrote a story a couple of days ago talking about how trump is starting to sleep in motels and go to churches. cruz obviously has a bit of an inherent advantage with evangelicals, who make up a large percentage of the base their, but trump scored a major endorsement today with jerry falwell's son. both of these guys are getting increasingly better in their criticisms of one another. charlie: is that sticking on either side? trump raises the issue of birth at every point, and other issues now. glenn: his new attack seems to be that he is picking up, ironically, a jeb bush attack line, which is that ted cruz is
a jerk. the man is not super popular among republicans, especially on capitol hill, which is kind of funny, trump calling cruz a jerk. but i think that at this point in time, cruz has been on the ground longer. he has a more conventional campaign. i just wonder if donald trump coming fairly late to the game in terms of organizing in iowa is going to be a real issue. i still tend to think -- i still tend to give the issue to ted cruz here. charlie: but it has been said that trump would be unstoppable if he won iowa and goes on to win new hampshire. glenn: true enough, but it behooves ted cruz to downplay
his own strength at this point. just like hillary clinton, a huge part of the motivation is a stop trump impulse, arguing that he is more electable, and you will hear more of cruz poor mouthing his own performance. charlie: what about marco rubio, who won the endorsement of the "des moines register?" glenn: rubio, i call it a small mammal strategy, let the dinosaurs fight it out, and he kind of stays alive. i think that has backfired. he is picking up endorsements, he has picked up a couple of other endorsements today. rubio, i think, really has to move beyond this kind of bland, slipped through the crack's kind of guy. sooner or later, he will have to attack donald trump in the way that cruz did, which raises cruz's profile. i have yet to see if he has that in him. charlie: let me turn to the democrats in terms of sanders and the impact of the debate. we see hillary clinton talking about barack obama. you interviewed barack obama.
does he make a difference? and he said some favorable things about her without endorsing her. does his pronouncement make a difference in iowa? glenn: i think it does, to some extent. in the last debate, she hugged barack obama so hard, he needs a new set of ribs. he is still money in iowa. iowa was transcendent for him. he is looking at his presidency, looking back on it as the great political experience of his life. but more than that, that is a really progressive state on a democratic side, and his coin still has great value. i think one of the more sneaky and effective attacks on sanders by the clinton folks had to do with the health care argument, where she said that sanders was undermining obama's legacy.
we have known that the obama folks, the staffers really got along very well. we have also known that obama, for instance, was very down on the potential joe biden candidacy. he did not really act out on that, but we know that his personal preference was that biden did not run. one of the things i found interesting in my conversation with him, i did not have to push him very hard to first say that he did not think the bernie 2016 phenomenon was analogous to the obama 2008 phenomenon. at the end of the interview, as i was trying to get a last question and, i asked him if he thought that bernie sanders was a one issue candidate, or if he was somebody who was well-rounded enough to do the job of president. he stood up and pointed to the resolute desk where he does his business every day, he says, two weeks ago i am writing the state of the union speech, and somebody says a bunch of our sailors just got captured by the iranians, and that is the nature
of this job. it is crazy and stuff happens that you can't anticipate. i think it was clearly aimed at sanders. obama and hillary perceive him as one-dimensional. charlie: i have heard people say that the two or three people they like in the race that they think it handle the job tomorrow, one they say is hillary clinton, and one clearly, they say, is john kasich because of his experience. another one, they say, is jeb bush. they say those three would be the most comfortable in the office. glenn: that's interesting. in the last debate, one of the features that was overlooked, jeb bush speaks the language of the american presidency, the the real language of the campaign presidency. that is crummy campaign politics.
but the fact of the matter is, when you hear jeb bush talking about the presidency, for instance, arguing with donald trump on trade, those are the real things that the president has to consider. i think you are totally right. and i think clinton has an advantage over sanders in speaking and sometimes complicated, sometimes incredibly boring detail about what she would do as president, but that really is the vocabulary of the presidency, and bernie sanders, for all of his inspiration, is not speaking the same language. charlie: but what happens when sanders makes the point that she has come to positions that he has long held? glenn: i think that is a huge selling point. remember, the biggest vulnerability that clinton has in the polls is this trust question. it is universal, on the republican side and the democratic side. the only difference is that some progressives are willing to kind of hold their nose and deal with that.
but undermining her trust, particularly in sanders' case where he threw away the e-mail issue, which a lot of people thought was a mistake, he needs to undermine peoples faith in her, and that undercuts her argument of competence. you can't argue that you're competent if people can't trust you, so that is core to his argument. that i think in the last couple of days, as people are getting a sense of whether or not they want to deliver a win to bernie sanders -- by the way, this is another thing obama said that was fascinating -- he talked about his own defeat in new hampshire after iowa as a correction, a proper response by the electorate in the democratic party, that he was not ready to get the nomination, that new hampshire was putting on the brakes and saying, wait a second, we like this guy obama, but we need to give hillary a second look.
to some extent, that is the argument that the clinton folks are making, that we need to take a look at sanders and see if he is up to the job. obama made it to me. and i think we have seen some late movement that clinton seems to be regaining some of first squander the lead. my sense is that the conversation, at least on the ground in iowa at this point, has gone from hillary's vulnerabilities and this being a repeat in 2008, which was a storyline a week ago, into a real question as to whether or not bernie sanders could be president. charlie: back to obama. on the one hand, he has said that if he ran for reelection, he thought he could win, and then he said, which is not necessarily contradictory, that he seems to be saying, look, i don't like living in a bubble. there are a lot of things i look forward to. do you have a sense that he feels like he has come, he has had eight years, he has served his time, he has built on what
he would like to be considered his legacy, whether it is obamacare, an opening to cuba, or what ever it might be, and that he really is prepared to leave? glenn: i think you hit the nail on the head. bill clinton was nostalgic about the trappings of the presidency. he really enjoyed it. some people would argue he was perhaps a little too relaxed in the presidency. obama speaks with no fondness whatsoever about the white house. it is an oval cage. what he was speaking about with great fondness was a great period in early 2008 when he was a free range senator, where he could get in a van, go and get an ice cream cone, and not have to worry about being swamped by people. that really struck me, and he really said to me that it was the last time he felt that he was really in touch with the
american political process. charlie: michael bloomberg and all this speculation, can you imagine the circumstances, real circumstances, likely circumstances that might suggest a pathway for independent with his qualifications? glenn: apart from a post-apocalyptic, "mad max" type-scenario, in which he is one of 10 people standing, i am being dismissive, but i don't think there is a market out there for for an extraordinarily wall street connected centrist. this is a time of extremes. we have a person who did not even identify as a democrat for a long time, bernie sanders, who was a democratic socialist competing very fiercely against hillary clinton for the nomination. and you have donald trump, who refused at the first debate to
say he would support the republican nominee. i think bloomberg's big problem, apart from the fact that he is a 74 year old billionaire who made his money on wall street at a time where that is not popular, i'm just saying, at this time when you have the donald trumps of the world having some traction, i don't think there is a tremendous market right now. charlie: thank you. great to see you. we will be right back. stay with us. ♪
♪ charlie: donald rumsfeld is here. he presided over the wars in afghanistan and iraq. he has now ventured into a new territory as an app developer. last week, he released a game called "churchill solitaire," a version of solitaire play by the british prime minister during world war ii. here is a trailer. >> you will fight, but you will never surrender. >> for decades, the game that winston churchill played to sharpen his wits was lost to the ages. now, solitaire as he devised has been brought to a new generation.
churchill solitaire will keep you coming back, battle after battle, deal after deal, until victory is won. friends and family can compete and rise through the ranks to become the prime minister. do you deserve victory? lay now for free in the app store. >> never give in! charlie: i am pleased to have donald rumsfeld, app developer, back at the table. who believed this would be? mr. rumsfeld: i know, at 83 years old, i had to learn what an app was before we could do this. charlie: so you were a nato ambassador. mr. rumsfeld: i was, in 1973 in florence. there was a very senior belgian diplomat there named andre.
he had been the private secretary to the king of the belgians when they were in exile in london during world war ii. he became a confidant of churchill, a kind of protege. charlie: he was like 29 years old? mr. rumsfeld: very young. churchill taught him at this game of solitaire with two decks. when we were in nato together, we would travel to turkey and various places in nato countries, and he taught me this game. i have played it ever since, since 1973. i enjoyed it. charlie: how good are you? mr. rumsfeld: who knows. my wife and i play every day or two. in the morning, after breakfast. charlie: are you retired? mr. rumsfeld: yeah, i'm retired, and we compete, and we keep track of the points. charlie: you do? mr. rumsfeld: i do.
it would be ungracious of me to comment on who is ahead. charlie: you are ahead. [laughter] charlie: and you have commented. so, what is it about the game that makes it so interesting for you? because you are wrapping it around the idea that it is great to teach strategy. mr. rumsfeld: well, it is so complicated, and as opposed to regular solitaire with two dekes, and instead of seven piles, you have 10, and you have six cards at the bottom, and you have to get those cards on the aces up above. you can't pull them down. to do this effectively, you have to be thinking 3, 4, 5 plays ahead, and you have to anticipate and think about whether it is better to turn over one of the cards and no
know what that is going to be, or to take a card from up above. it's a delightful game. it is challenging, vastly more complex than normal solitaire. charlie: is it more complex than bridge? mr. rumsfeld: i am not a skillful bridge player. charlie: but you have played. and you know a lot of smart people think it is an intelligent game. mr. rumsfeld: i would rank it up there with bridge. and the other thing you can do, in the old days, the internet did not exist, and now you can compete on the internet. charlie: people like warren buffett play bridge on the internet all the time. bill gates. they can play in different cities. mr. rumsfeld: here, you can take the challenge, play that same deal, have someone else get that deal, see how many points they get up, and how fast they can do it. charlie: andre said something
once that i thought was interesting. what one needs in life is the pessimism of intelligence and the optimism of will. mr. rumsfeld: he said that to me, and i remembered it and thought about it, and he is quite right. he was an enormously skillful diplomat. he was the dean of the north atlantic council of 15 countries that were in it back in those days, and was an enormous help to me as the u.s. ambassador. charlie: there are levels in this game, and it really traces churchill's career, so when you are prime minister, you are playing at the top level. mr. rumsfeld: in the back of my mind -- you are right. you start off, and then you proceed through all the ranks, and then finally prime minister.
however, later he was made sir winston churchill, and maybe someday we should have a winston churchill even above the prime ministership. charlie: and did you oppose making winston churchill a citizen? mr. rumsfeld: i did not oppose that. charlie: but people are writing that. mr. rumsfeld: i doubt that anyone can suggest that. i think i raised the question. you've got to be careful doing it. my recollection is that we now have three, one was marquee the lafayette, one was winston churchill, and i believe one was wallenberg. it has to be something very special. charlie: what was it about churchill, you think, that made him? you look at where he was when he went from the admiralty to prime minister.
mr. rumsfeld: and a large career in the admiralty. charlie: he said in 1941, everything i have done has prepared me for this moment, everything i have done. mr. rumsfeld: he was right. he did a superb job. of course, i was alive during that period. i remember the voices of churchill and franklin roosevelt. my father and i were living in san diego, a navy town, and those figures were important. charlie: people say that what he had in the end, he instilled first in britain, later the
world - never give in. mr. rumsfeld: yes, and that is part of our trailer in this. it is good for people to be linked to history and to hear his voice, and to have those connections. charlie: let me talk about two things. one, i want to move off of solitaire and this app. one is the notion that there is a devil six, and that is part of the game and part of the challenge. two, there is something you have called a hint and a redo. mr. rumsfeld: yet in life, a hint would be if i picked up the phone and called andre to stark and asked him, something is coming up in nato, what do you think about this? talk to someone who has more experience, have done things that you have not, and to give more device. on the other hand, undos, there are very few in life. i think they should be used sparingly.
charlie: suppose michael bloomberg called you up and said, i want to run for president as an independent. you have experience at different levels. you have been in congress, in chief of staff at the white house. your secretary of defense and served as ambassador of nato. what should i do? mr. rumsfeld: my goodness, that is something only he can figure out, and he has to go with his stomach. charlie: is it doable? mr. rumsfeld: i've thought about that, and it seems to me that our country, one of the things great about our country is that we are a two-party system. we are not a multiparty system. smaller countries can be multiparty, but i think our country -- charlie: like israel, for example. mr. rumsfeld: yeah, a small party can hold governments down in certain nations in europe, and in our country that would not be a good thing to have. i think if anyone ever runs as an independent, what they ought
to do is announce that if and when they are elected, they will surge as a republican or a democrat. in the interest of the two-party system. i think fracturing our party system would be unhealthy for us. charlie: can you imagine that if it is thrown to the house of representatives, where they select the president and vice president, republicans necessarily won't vote for their candidate, but might find in michael bloomberg a successful businessman, a successful politician as mayor, and for whatever reason, they did not think the republican candidate had enough temperament, experience, or judgment. or the democrat. mr. rumsfeld: it seems to me that what will happen is there will be discussions, debates, and a lot of maneuvering. that process is designed to be
political in nature, and people will talk and deal and make arrangements and discussed things and find out what happens if this happens, and what will happen if that happens. it is unpredictable. charlie: this politico magazine has reported this weekend about a now declassified report that you sent to general richard myers, but which had been put together by someone, as i understand it, on the joint chiefs of staff. mr. rumsfeld: yes. charlie: so someone working for general myers -- mr. rumsfeld: good man. charlie: good man, created a document about what the intelligence taught him about weapons of mass destruction in iraq? mr. rumsfeld: my recollection is that i asked -- charlie: and he sent it to you. mr. rumsfeld: the joint chiefs participate in all the interagency intelligence meetings, the central
intelligence agency director of the central intelligence agency, the national security staff, and they share all that, and that information had undoubtedly been part of that original process. there were no secrets as to what was going on. everyone was talking to everyone, and the person responsible for pulling all those threads to a needle was the director of central intelligence. he did that process and then presented it to the nnational security council. charlie: why would the cia put it together then, if george put it all together? mr. rumsfeld: that was his responsibility, but each agency was asked what they knew, how they knew it, and all that information came in to the director of central intelligence staff, and they then presented
it to the presidency, taking account of all of that. charlie: two big questions. one is, quote, our knowledge in the report. our knowledge of the iraqi nuclear weapons program is based largely, perhaps 90%, on an analysis of imprecise intelligence. mr. rumsfeld: one of the things to keep in mind, if something is intelligence, it's not a fact. if something is a fact, it's a fact. if something is intelligence, it means there is judgment involved. it means that a lot of conflicting facts and information are brought together. that was not a surprise at all, because we knew that saddam hussein had used chemical weapons against his own people. we knew that he had used chemical weapons against his neighbors, the iranians. charlie: i think many would suggest that the fear was that saddam had nuclear weapons. mr. rumsfeld: i think he had
chemical and biological weapons. charlie: and why did we go to war? mr. rumsfeld: because the president looked at all the intelligence from the central intelligence agency and made a judgment that the threat from saddam hussein and his opposition to the u.n. resolutions were sufficient, and that was the appropriate thing to do. he briefed to the congress and the u.n. colin powell took all that information and spent days analyzing it, a seasoned person in dealing with intelligence products, and concluded it with the u.n. after the war, i remember it being said that they still had the facilities to deal chemical and biological weapons, they still had the precursors, and they still have the people who had the know-how, and it would be a matter of some weeks, not years, for them to reconstitute their chemical and biological
program. i don't remember him saying what you said. charlie: but it says interesting things about how government operates. you said that this is big. when you saw the report, you said, this is big. mr. rumsfeld: anything that was like that seems to me that it ought to be a part of the process, and it was. charlie: but you didn't call up colin powell. when you see something big, don't you want to share it immediately? mr. rumsfeld: we did. charlie: but you didn't feel a responsibility to pass it on because you assumed the cia knew. mr. rumsfeld: i assumed the central intelligence agency was
having meetings with people from the fence, from the cia, from the state department, and all those people. that was their job to do. that was the statutory responsibility of the director of central intelligence. charlie: how concerned are you about how iraq has turned out? mr. rumsfeld: my goodness, repression works. a brutal dictator can impose his will and kill people and imprison people, and once that is gone, free people are free to do good things, and they are also free to do perfectly horrible things. disorder in libya, syria, iraq, and many countries in that part of the world is a serious problem. we are facing a long struggle against radical islam. charlie: what would be the rumsfeld plan, with all of your time in the defense department, what would you have america do? mr. rumsfeld: the first thing to do is recognize that this is not going to be won with bullets. the basic principle with economics is that if you don't want something, you penalize it.
the united states will have to provide leadership in the non-muslim and muslim worlds to get a coalition of people who will find ways to squeeze off the money going to them. charlie: where do you think the money is coming from? mr. rumsfeld: basically from that region. charlie: in other words, you think governments are providing -- mr. rumsfeld: not governments, people. charlie: so people from that region, saudi arabia and other countries, are providing financial support. mr. rumsfeld: i think we have to squeeze off their recruiting skills. one of the ways to do that is find out where the people are flowing from, but the second way to do it is in sure that it becomes increasingly clear that it is painful to be recruited. that they are not going to win.
a lot of people want to be on the winning side. charlie: that's why people say the caliphate and the territory they hold is in a threat, a recruiting symbol to them. "we are the winners." "we are on a roll." charlie: it is said that we have to do a lot of things in terms of using other assets, like social media. like economics, like intelligence. rather than beating them on the battlefield. mr. rumsfeld: exactly. you are not going to win -- a terrorist attack can be at any place, any time, using any technique. it is impossible to defend any place at every moment of the day and night against every conceivable terrorist technique. therefore, you have to find ways to dissuade them. normal deterrents don't work. you are dealing with people who
are prepared to die. if they can be seen as having a crusade, a movement that is exciting and worthwhile, and has value, then they will be able to recruit people, and not just in that part of the world, they will recruit them right out of our country. charlie: they make the act of being a member of isis romantic. mr. rumsfeld: right. we have to make them see it is not going to be rewarded. charlie: so we have ted cruz saying he was to carpet bomb raqqa. is that helpful? mr. rumsfeld: i don't know what he meant. i know what i think, and what i think is what i have said you have to do. let me give you an example.
in egypt, the leaders stood up and talked to the imam in the most important arab country in the world, and the most important arab city in the world, cairo. he said, this is bad. it was barely reported in the news. no one stood up and said, good for you, that's exactly right! and there must have been leaders all over the world who agreed with him and said, my gosh, he's all alone! instead of showing support for him and appraising that leadership, it was not discussed, and other people must've said, i'm not so sure i'm going to stand up and put a target on my back. charlie: it is also very controversial, some of the tactics he has used. you know that. mr. rumsfeld: everybody is controversial.
you are not going to get 100% out of any leader -- charlie: so whatever he is doing, you are saying it is ok with me because it is necessary to achieve his objectives. mr. rumsfeld: i would not say it is ok with me. what i am saying is, we live in a big world. there are countries different from us. there are different cultures, languages, histories, and neighbors. the idea that everyone has to be exactly like us is unrealistic. in fact, we are still evolving. women did not vote until the 1900s. charlie: so you are saying we should give them some slack as to how they develop their own country? mr. rumsfeld: you have to. charlie: and including iraq. mr. rumsfeld: you can't expect others to be like us, because we are not like we were 100 years ago, and we are not like how we are going to be in 50 years. charlie: your 83 years old. mr. rumsfeld: i am. i am a great-grandfather.
charlie: you obviously have good genes and will live a long time. but how do you want america to remember donald rumsfeld? mr. rumsfeld: goodness, i don't want to get into that. people spend their time worrying about their legacy -- i worry about doing the right thing for the country. charlie: there is no misconception about you that bothers you? mr. rumsfeld: what good does it do? all you have to do is get up in the morning and do your best. charlie: so from a position of observing, and the party you have served, who best reflects donald rumsfeld of all the candidates? mr. rumsfeld: i have no idea. i don't even know half of them. charlie: but they have been debating for a year. what conclusion have you come to? mr. rumsfeld: my conclusion is we don't need four more years of the last eight years.
a change in administrations would be a good thing for the country. charlie: so whether it is democratic or republican, that would be a change. mr. rumsfeld: one would represent a greater change than the other. charlie: what changed you want to see? mr. rumsfeld: i want to see someone in there who can provide this country and the world leadership -- if we create a vacuum in the world, and i believe we have, i think the result of that is that the vacuum gets filled by people who don't have our values -- charlie: and do you believe that is exactly what vladimir putin has done in syria? he has stepped into a vacuum, and now he is a player at the table. mr. rumsfeld: sure he is, and one of the best things that happened is that the soviet union stopped existing, and they were no longer an influence in the middle east until recently. charlie: what is your central indictment of the past four years that is so badly in need
of a change? mr. rumsfeld: let me give you an answer. what is the greatest threat facing our country? people say, well, it's cyberattacks, or its nuclear weapons in china. i worry about all of the millions of decisions being made all across the globe that we don't know about. it is the policeman's wife, or spouse, in baltimore, who settles up to him and says, don't you think it's about time to not be a policeman? it's the parliament in the philippines who sees what is going on by the chinese, and in the philippine parliament, the sea treaty be damned. it is ok, the chinese can do anything they want and are part of the world. maybe i will vote with them,
instead of japan, the u.s., or north korea. it is the political leader in indonesia who listens to the speech in cairo and sees that nobody supports him, nobody says anything, nobody stands up. he's thinking, maybe i should say the same thing, but then he thinks, maybe i won't do that. there are millions of decisions being made by human beings all across the globe that reflect what is happening in the globe, in the world, their world. charlie: would it surprise you to know that the president of iran has been very vocal about attacking, and the danger of, isis? mr. rumsfeld: i was asked the question, what happens if the sanctions are taking off, and i said that iran will continue and probably have more resources to support terrorism. they are the principal supporter of terrorist organizations. hezbollah, hamas.
and they are active doing it. they have used their proxies. anyone with any sense is concerned about terrorism, particularly homegrown terrorism, and the fact that he is worried about some of that -- his model is fine, but they are actively supporting terrorist organizations. charlie: take a look at this photograph. that is you on the right. in the middle is? mr. rumsfeld: that is russell. and on the left is andre. charlie: one last thing about the app, which we started with. all the money -- mr. rumsfeld: i think you are sufficiently educable that you could play it. charlie: maybe? do you think i have the capacity to learn? mr. rumsfeld: i have no doubt about it.
charlie: i will make this point that you are giving all the profits to this number whatever it may be. mr. rumsfeld: the churchill profits go to the churchill foundation, and mine, if they exist, will be going to military charities. charlie: good for you. thank you for coming. mr. rumsfeld: charlie: you bet. good to see you. ♪
♪ charlie: chelsea handler is here. she began her career wanting to be an actor, but quickly made the transition to stand up comedy. her ultimate goal was simple -- she said she just wanted to be famous, and she made that true with "chelsea lately" in 2007. for seven seasons, the show featured her brutally honest brand of humor. vanity fair anointed her the queen of comedy and said, quote, even while working as a standup headliner, or the host of her own show, handler gives the image of a girl cracking her jokes in the back of a classroom. her latest project is "chelsea does." it faces a significant turning point in her perspective and career. each episode explores a different topic, ranging from marriage to race. this series will serve as a bridge to her upcoming netflix
talk show premiering in may. here is a look at "chelsea does." ♪ chelsea: this is happening. chelsea: you want to get married when you get older? because i am not married. how old do you all think that i am? >> 20. chelsea: that's right. >> it's like saks, some is better than others, but it is all good. chelsea: should we dress up as hitler? it was hanukkah, in my defense. i think it is important to be able to make fun of stereotypes. seriously, i would love to see what that life is like. >> she is leading the charge, live streaming on the internet.
chelsea: what is streaming? i am not really sure. i am just trying to understand why people do this. i didn't know that you guys were married. and you don't cheat. >> not yet. chelsea: hey, girl. >> do you think that i am a robot? chelsea: wait, sorry. >> are you trying to annoy me? >> the best way to break down barriers is break them down in our individual lives. >> what do you think about sobriety? chelsea: boring. i am really -- up. i am saying to the world, this is how i feel. i want to live in a place where a person of every color is able to hit on me. i will like to be spiritual if that means touching my vagina a lot. i don't mean to be judgmental.
wow, that was so stupid. she looks like she just climaxed. charlie: i am pleased to have chelsea handler at this table for the first time. tell me how you define who you are, your sense of self? chelsea: i would say that i am falsely self-assured, and i like to -- charlie: why falsely? you don't have any confidence that you are going to make it big? chelsea: i have confidence in my ability to get something done. i have confidence in my ability to take a lot of chances. that's what i am really good at. charlie: you give up a show that was successful to go do something else. chelsea: i was bored, and i wanted to be brighter than that. i didn't want to look back and go, god, why did you do that for so long?
charlie: what did you not like? chelsea: it was very one-dimensional. it was about celebrities. it would bore anybody, but if you love celebrities and that is all you want to talk about, you would want to slit your wrists. of course, i do not want to, but i wanted to get out there as quickly as possible everyday. so i went to netflix to ted -- charlie: listen up, i have an idea. chelsea: i need you to finance my college education, because i didn't go, and you guys need to foot the bill. i wanted to do documentaries. charlie: i wanted to get somebody to do it for me. chelsea: no, i was going to do it, but i did not know anything about my arena. on my show, i was in charge of everything. charlie: but it's your show, you can still control them. the fact that you need an outside talent does not mean that you still need to control everything. chelsea: ok, type down, you are
right, but i did want them to steer me. steer me in the direction where you are challenging me and pushing me, because if i were left to my own devices, i would not say, go meet with my ex-boyfriend from 20 years ago, or go on blind dates to explore the notion of marriage and dating services. i wanted to put myself in situations that i found cheesy or embarrassing, so i actually did rely on them to force me to kind of flex my muscles in a way that i was not comfortable flexing before. i had no muscles to flex. i found my muscles, and i found out that working with people who are really good at what they do was a huge license for me to really enjoy a different medium of what i do, to enjoy kind of being creative in a different format, being vulnerable.
when you do a show long and you are just showing one side of you, people assume that is your only side. people assume who i am, i'm honest, i'm open. obviously, everybody is multi dimensional, as you mentioned earlier, may be off the air, i don't remember. charlie: i don't remember either. chelsea: so, it was a great exercise for me. it was an interesting thing. i got to explore subjects i don't know anything about, and subjects i do, and i am really proud of it. it is the first thing i have been proud of in a while. charlie: really? is the first definition of you a comedian? chelsea: i don't identify as that. i did stand up for many years, the entry to the world of what i did. i don't see myself ever doing stand up again. for me, that went with the show. i don't really see myself doing stand up anymore. i am not interested.
i feel like i did that, i got great at it, and now i want to get great at something else. charlie: filmmaking? chelsea: i am doing these documentaries. it is a kind of a bridge to my new show, which will be on netflix in may, and i wanted to do something tonally to introduce my audience into where i was going in the direction where i was headed in. it is not a late-night show, because it is netflix, and the beauty of netflix is that it is on whenever you want it. i wanted to give people kind of a taste of what i was looking to do. that's the direction i am going in. i can have a broader scope of conversation, and i can talk about politics. you know, i'm a white, jewish woman. i don't know if it's insensitive. when people talk about how jewish people kind of recovered from their holocaust come at you know, jewish people are successful. they are all doctors, lawyers,
dentists, whatever, working on wall street, where as black people, the point people make is that it is harder for them to recover. and i can talk about sexism, ageism, and racism, and all that stuff that goes along. charlie: i don't know why you couldn't talk about them in your previous show. chelsea: because i was on before the kardashians. people tuning and were not interested in that. charlie: so you viewed your audience is people as people like the kardashians. chelsea: no, i view them as people watching e! i would always say, i need to do other stuff. i'm like, this is such a specific platform that i don't want to ever be one of those people who is acting out of school. i did not want to say, i'm going to talk about this. it just was not the right environment for that. i knew that. i thought, i have to get a way to do what i want to do.
charlie: here is my impression of you. you seem to me to be someone -- you pursued netflix. it was your idea. chelsea: yeah, i like to be the pursuer. charlie: exactly. you are the pursuer. and he found netflix to be a kindred spirit. chelsea: they are smarter than me. it is great to not be the smartest person in the room. charlie: or it is great to not think of yourself as the smartest person. chelsea: do you think of yourself as the smartest person in the room? charlie: no, i like to think people can add to me. chelsea: but if you have been in something a long time, you start to feel like you know more than anybody around you. do you feel that way? charlie: i don't. i feel like people around me have specific talents that exceed mine. i may have a broader sense of experience and talent, but they come to this table and program with specific experiences. they are from different countries.
specific educational experiences, different kinds of social talents. what you want to do is bring together that diversity and inform what you are trying to do. chelsea: what do you think is your biggest talent? charlie: curiosity. everything i do is based on that, whether it is reporting, anchoring, or this program, which is essentially interviewing. chelsea: and when do you find your curiosity is waning? what do you do when you are supposed to be curious and you are not? charlie: you have a sense of risk and a sense of willing to dive into the deep end of the pool. right? chelsea: yeah, always. charlie: that brashness is also seen -- and that's part of your persona. chelsea: but persona is a tricky word. if it's you, it's not your
persona. i think that is -- charlie: it is your person? chelsea: yes, my person, because of persona is what you are putting on. and you are not really putting it on. charlie: it has been a pleasure to have you here. chelsea: thank you for having me. the pleasure was all mine. charlie: chelsea handler. watch her show, her documentary. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪